Burglary O.C.G.A 16-7-1
Use a Smart Defense Strategy to Help You Win Your Atlanta Georgia Burglary Charge
You are accused of committing burglary. You may think you are facing a type of theft crime. You are not. Burglary is not a theft charge.
Theft is the criminal act of taking property belonging to another individual. The property is taken without permission and with the intent of depriving the owner of the property. This is a separate crime than burglary. It is important to point out that you can be accused of burglary and theft.
The definition of burglary along with the penalties are outlined in the Georgia criminal statute of O.C.G.A. 16-7-1.
Burglary involves the Breaking and Entering of Someone’s Property
Burglary is the breaking and entering into a structure you do not own or have a legal right to enter. The term “structure” is used to explain the various places where this offense can be committed including, but not limited to:
- Railroad car
Breaking into a structure does not mean damaging the property. It can involve simply opening an unlocked door or entering an opened window. The crime also involves the intent to commit another crime after you alleged enter the property. You do not have to actually commit the second, or underlying, crime. You just have to have the intent to commit a second crime.
The second crime can be:
Burglary is Separated by Degrees in Atlanta Georgia
In Atlanta Georgia, burglary is separated into three degrees depending on the factors around the charge. Every degree involves the breaking and entering of a structure to commit another crime thereafter. In addition:
- First degree burglary involves an occupied, unoccupied or vacant dwelling house like a home or apartment. The punishment for this type of burglary is about 20 years in prison.
- Second degree burglary involves an occupied, unoccupied or vacant structure other than a place where a person lives. The punishment of second degree burglary is one to eight years in prison.
- Third degree burglary involves a commercial structure and is punishable by one to eight years in prison
The Burglary Elements a Prosecutor needs to Prove Beyond a Reasonable Doubt to Convict in Atlanta Georgia
A prosecutor must prove you committed burglary. The state requires the prosecutor to use elements to prove guilt. The elements of this crime are:
- You broke into a structure you did not own
- You entered into a structure you did not own
- You did not have permission from the owner to break into and/or enter the property
- You entered the structure with the intent to complete another crime
Defenses to a Burglary Charge in Atlanta Georgia
You have some options when it comes to how you are going to resolve this charge against you. You could plead guilty and hope for the best. You could ask for a plea deal through your attorney. The deal may be for a lesser charge. You may agree to jail or prison time rather than the next option. You can fight this charge.
Fighting this charge involves picking a smart, great defense strategy. A defense is a way to prove your innocence and based on the facts surrounding your charge. These defenses include:
Actual innocence involves telling the court you are not guilty of the crime. You were not there at the time the burglary occurred. This involves providing an alibi. An alibi is a reason why you are innocent. You were at work, home or with friends at the time of the crime.
Lack of Evidence
Lack of evidence is telling the judge that the state does not have enough evidence to prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminal law makes the state responsible for proving you are guilty of the crime without leaving any room for doubt in the mind of the jury. If they do not have enough evidence, they cannot take the case to trial. That does not mean they will not try. It is up to your attorney to call them on it.
No Crime Committed
You can claim that no crime was committed. You were at the house. You were allowed to enter the property. You receive the consent of the property owner. You cannot be convicted of a crime if a crime was not committed.
You had Consent from the Owner to Break into the Property
This defense negates the unlawful breaking of property. The property owner may have been locked out of their home and asked you to break into the property. You were helping and not trying to commit a crime.
Contact Georgia Defense Force, LLC to Fight Your Atlanta Georgia Burglary Charge
The focus right now should not be the fear of going to prison. Instead, focus on helping us create a strong, smart defense so you can avoid the prison time and fines associated with a burglary conviction. A defense strategy is based on the circumstances surrounding your burglary charge.
During our free case evaluation, we will discuss the circumstances to narrow the defenses available to you. For example, you may be able to plead actual innocence. Actual innocence is shown how you did not commit the burglary.
This may involve witness testimony or another defense called an alibi. An alibi is the defense of being someone is like work at the time the structure was burglarized. Other defenses include:
- Attacking the crime’s elements
- Creating doubt regarding the prosecutor’s evidence against you
- Consent to break into and enter the person’s property.
- No intent to commit a crime after entering the structure
Contact us immediately to get started on your case.